St. Mark’s Church in Vrba

St. Mark’s Church stands on the outskirts of the village of Vrba. It was first mentioned in 1468. Though it is a small and simple church, it has achieved near mythical status in Slovenia after it was mentioned in the sonnet ‘O Vrba’ by Slovenia’s greatest national poet, France Prešeren, whose birth house is located in the vicinity. It has Romanesque foundations, but the actual structure is gothic with an interesting apse, extensive gothic frescoes from the 15th and early 16th century on the interior walls which are preserved in fragments, a renovated wooden ceiling, and two gilded baroque altars. On the outside wall there are also relatively well-preserved frescoes of St. Christopher, the Crucifixion, and St. George fighting the dragon from the 15th century. In the porch is a bust of the archbishop Anton Vovk (1900–1963), great grandnephew of Prešeren, born in the same house in Vrba.

In January 2011, the church was proclaimed a cultural monument of national importance by the Government of Slovenia.

St. Martin’s Church in Moste

St. Martin’s Church in the village of Moste is one of the oldest and most beautiful sacral jewels in Slovenia and the oldest sacral structure in the Breznica parish. The church dates back to the pre-Romanesque era. It is a single-aisle church with late gothic features and frescoes on the interior dating to 1430. The most important depicts the martyrs death of the apostles. Following completion of this work, the author of the fresco became known as the “Žirovnica master”. The altar dates to 1638 and the other church furnishings are from the 19th century. Around the church evidence of a burial ground from late Antiquity and the period of early Slavic settlement has also been discovered and the area has been officially protected as an archaeological monument.

St. Clement’s Church in Rodine

St. Clement’s church is located in the village of Rodine which used to be an important religious centre as in medieval times it was the seat of the parish, and later also the seat of the parish of Breznica. The church with a cemetery and enclosing walls is one of the oldest monuments of sacral architecture in this part of Gorenjska. There is evidence that a religious building was built on the site in the second half of the 10th century. Its Romanesque foundations date back to the 11th century. A later gothic structure burned down and the Baroque church seen today was built in 1692. The church was renovated in 1876 to repair extensive damage to the roof and spire.

There is a tomb under the church that allegedly contains the remains of St. Clement, who was tortured and killed in Crimea, Ukraine, and whose bones were found in Rodine. According to legend, Saints Cyril and Methodius are said to have brought the relics when travelling through Rodine to Rome with the mortal remains of St. Clement.

St. Cantius' Church in Selo

St. Cantius’ church was first mentioned in 1468 and is a baroque structure with a belfry from 1764, but there is evidence that it replaced an earlier Romanesque structure. Fragments of 15th-century frescoes remain on the southern wall. A unique feature of this church is its fresco of St. George killing a dragon. The main altar is consecrated to St. Cantius, and one of the side altars to St. Anthony the Great with the folk name Anton Kračman, the patron of livestock farmers and butchers. On the feast day of St. Anthony the Great, farmers used to bring pork legs and sausages into the church and ask the saint to bless their livestock with health. Those delicacies were then sold at auction, and any unsold meat was given away to the poor.

St. Radegund’s Church in Breg

The church was first mentioned in 1468 as belonging to the diocese of Radovljica, but is an older building with Romanesque foundations, partly reflected in the shape of its nave and flat ceiling. Most of the remaining structure is from the mid-17th century. The bell tower, with its typical onion-shaped roof, is baroque. The distinct baroque altar dates back to the so-called era of gilt altars. The fresco of a pregnant Virgin Mary is a unique example of iconography. On the southern wall there are frescoes of St. Radegund (the patron of potters and weavers) and St. Lawrence. St. Michael fighting a dragon is depicted on the northern wall and there is a baroque painting of St. Christopher on the southern exterior. There is evidence of a wall encircling the church, probably built in the 15th century, to protect local inhabitants against Turkish raids in the area. This was demolished in the 17th century, when the church was being rebuilt. A 1994 archaeological excavation around the church also revealed graves from the later period of Slavic settlement in the area.

The Church of Our Lady of Sorrows in Breznica

The Church of Our Lady of Sorrows is one of the youngest churches in the Breznica parish. It was built in 1821, based on an architectural plan by the architect Blasio Zamolo from Gemona. Prior to that, the seat of the parish was in the village of Rodine. Franc Salezij Christian, a priest at the time, decided to build the church in the centre of the parish and had it measured for those purposes, which is why a new church was built in Breznica. The church is painted with classical frescoes. The large marble altar is the work of three masters: Janez Vurnik, Janez Vurnik Jr. and Franc Ksaver Zajec. A unique feature of the church is the baptistery, created by the famous Slovene architect Jože Plečnik.

St. Lawrence Church above Zabreznica

St. Lawrence’s church above the village of Zabreznica has a unique position and appearance. It stands on a cliff above Zabreznica from where there are magnificent views of the surrounding landscape. The church was positioned there as a viewpoint during the Turkish invasions. It  was abandoned in 1821 when a new parish church was built in the nearby village of Breznica.

In the 1990s, local volunteers built a new church on the Romanesque foundations. The present-day appearance of the church is a reconstruction of the old gothic church. The interior is decorated with the Stations of the Cross, painted by the academic painter Janez Bernik, while the exterior is decorated with an image of St. Christopher – the patron saint of travellers, as well as a mosaic by the academic artist Andrej Jemc. A unique feature of St. Lawrence’s church is the presbytery which is painted with wild flowers that can be found around the church, the work  of local artist Marija Smolej.